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Nuplex Posts a 42% Rise in Profits

Published on 2008-09-01. Author : SpecialChem

Specialty resins and chemicals company Nuplex Industries has posted a 42% rise in full year operating profit to $53.4 million. Managing director John Hirst said the result reflected improved productivity after significant restructuring, with new capacity in Europe and the closure of loss-making plants in Brazil and Britain.

Demand increased in Asia, and a positive contribution came from the G-Cure acquisition in the United States, he said. The stronger performance was achieved despite a challenging international economy with Nuplex having to face a considerable increase in costs driven by a higher oil price.

Net profit after tax for the year to the end of June was up 84.4% to $48.3m, while revenue from ordinary activities rose 5.5% to $1.53 billion. Hirst said that risks to earnings in the current financial year included increases in raw material costs, and the impact of inflation and higher interest rates on consumer confidence and demand.

"Nonetheless, we are confident that the investment Nuplex has made in people, plant and technology will provide the platform for continuing organic and acquisitive growth." In the latest year, resins division sales rose 5% to $1.2 billion.

Earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (ebitda) rose 11% to $99 million, although Nuplex said that on a constant currency basis ebitda was up 13%. Restructuring resulted in a substantial uplift in earnings for the business, which provides raw material inputs for the global coating and regional composites, construction, adhesive, textile, printing ink and paper industries.

The European business was the stand-out performer, increasing sales volumes through advanced technology and new and more efficient capacity, Nuplex said.

Soft demand from the New Zealand coatings market, a slowdown in discretionary spending in Australia and margin pressure across Australasia generally created a difficult business environment.

While US markets continued to weaken, the G-Cure acquisition and the closure of the loss-making Brazil manufacturing plant contributed to an improved year-on-year result from the Americas. Asia maintained steady growth, with China's performance particularly pleasing.

The specialties products business, which markets functional technical raw materials to the Australasian chemical, plastic, construction, coatings and life sciences sectors, had a six percent increase in sales revenue to $330.9m with ebitda up 50% to $22.8 million.

Lower demand from traditional market segments, particularly in this country, was more than offset by opportunities provided by new agencies and success with a number of longer-term development projects.

Penetration into non-traditional market segments and a significantly lower cost base enabled the specialties business to offset the downturn sustained by the resins business in the region, Nuplex said. A final dividend of 23 cents per share is to be paid, bringing the total for the year to 43cps.

Source: Nuplex Industries

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